The drought-stricken Southwest welcomed the little rain they received early last week, but meteorologists warn that the much-needed precipitation would only provide temporary relief. In fact, the rain which made its way across California, Utah, and Arizona on Tuesday was just about 0.30-0.40 inches. Experts worry that the small amount of rain only signals an early summer heat that will see temperature reaching record highs.

However, it’s not all bad news. Residents will enjoy cooler weather with overnight low temperatures dipping into the 50s and lower 60s on Tuesday. After that brief respite, residents will need to buckle up for another heatwave.

Meteorologists attribute the Southwest’s heatwave to the slow build-up of a large area of high pressure which will form a dome over the region. This dome will prevent wet weather and also intensify sunshine. This will cause temperatures to start rising slowly on Wednesday afternoon and then peak on Friday or Saturday.

Temperatures will rise to as much as 20 degrees above normal weather for this time of the year. Just to put that in perspective, Las Vegas’s average high temperature sits around 84 degrees in the first week of May. This week, the temperature is expected to soar to 100 degrees by Friday and Saturday. Yuma and Phoenix, Arizona are also going to see temperatures that inch toward the 100-degree mark. In both these cities, this would be the first triple-digit temperature record of the season. Typically, these temperatures are more common around mid-June.  Experts are cautioning residents against planning outdoor activities in the afternoon when the sun will be at its hottest. They also advise drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

The weather pattern and heat wave expected this week are going to exacerbate the drought conditions that have been plaguing the region and causing weather-related forest fires in Arizona.

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